It's very strange that a phone designed for data use should have such a basic internet browser, but that's the case on the INQ Mini 3G.
Essentially it's best for mobile-based sites, such as the BBC version. In fact, it can't even access the BBC full HTML site, stating 'can't connect' every time we tried.
We therefore thought the Mini 3G couldn't handle full websites, but navigating to TechRadar proved otherwise. What is strange is that using the internet on the phone was generally a slow experience, with the likes of Google and BBC mobile taking a while to load, far longer than other phones.
However, on more HTML-heavy sites the Mini 3G was surprisingly swift, which makes it hard to work out the full capabilities of the browser.
The internet was also slowed down by the mini-map being present as a default, as scanning quickly down a page made the whole thing juddery and slow. It's good to be able to see what part of the web page you're viewing, but when the mini-map obscures the screen and ruins the experience, it's not really worthwhile.
The landing screen for the internet was well-stocked though, with a Google/Yahoo search bar (depending on your preference), feeds, bookmarks and history all within easy reach. We're not generally fans of an extra page before you can get browsing, but this one worked pretty well.
You can also see saved pages, as the INQ Mini 3G offers the chance to cache offline sites for viewing when out of signal. Given the amount you can actually view is a little limited this isn't going to be an oft-used feature, but we're still impressed by the option.
Another cool feature is being able to send links via Facebook or text message, meaning it's easy to share your internet experience with others. It's a shame there's no way to Tweet it, but then again this phone isn't as Twitter-centric as some might think, more a phone with a client on board.
Overall, we were a little disappointed by the internet experience on the Mini 3G – while we weren't expecting much and it does have some very nice touches, the speed of the internet on the phone leaves a little to be desired.
As we mentioned above, this phone will always struggle with media because it simply doesn't have a 3.5mm headphone jack on board, which minimises the ease of using the content.
Couple that with the fact INQ has supplied frankly rubbish headphones in the box with no 3.5mm converter, and we could tell we were on a hiding to nothing. The only two options left are to buy a cheap third party miniUSB-to-3.5mm converter, which will invariably break within weeks of purchase, or use Bluetooth cans.
The wireless option we plumped for was the Jabra Halo, with a dual microphone on board for good speech pickup. These worked well and the INQ Mini 3G pumped out some good sound, but we wonder how many people will be willing to fork out over £50 for headphones on a phone that costs around the same.
The music player on the Mini 3G was basic but did the job. Essentially you've got the forward and back, play, pause, fast forward and rewind options, and the most advanced thing on there is the equaliser.
We've heard some people say that the Mini 3G is never going to be anyone's primary music player, but given the simple use and the easy to find circular D-pad, it actually works pretty well. Music is laid out in the usual way, through album or artist or track, and that's all a lot of people need in a standalone music player.
Add to that the fact music playing gets its own little widget on the home screen (as long as you've left space) and we're left feeling pretty impressed with the INQ Mini 3G.
We're also saddened by the loss of last.fm from the INQ Mini 3G – the INQ1 had it, and for the price it was a great addition. We've no idea why it's not been used here, unless the much rumoured Spotify phone is coming in the near future and last.fm is seen as too much of a competitor.
We were very disappointed with the INQ Mini 3G we were given, as despite the company claiming it could play MPEG4 files, it simply refused to do so for us.
The only video we were able to see was that captured on the device, and downloaded video direct from the 3 mobile web portal.
The video is controlled in a similar way to the music with a small central console offering the basic play/pause and navigational options.
Video could be viewed in both landscape and portrait, although it obviously looked pretty ropey on the low resolution screen.
We thankfully had more luck synchronising media through the doubleTwist PC software that comes with the phone – a number of music videos downloaded from YouTube and even a full length movie went straight onto the device, which is again a great new level of functionality for the price.